Alibaba leads $60m investment in augmented reality glasses firm Nreal

Chinese tech giant Alibaba has led a $60 million investment in augmented reality glasses manufacturer Nreal as appetite for metaverse technology grows.

The Beijing-based firm said it will use the capital from the Series C funding round to invest in research and development, expand into new markets including its native China, and strengthen its existing partnerships with developers and partners.

Nreal was founded in 2017 by Chi Xu and Bing Xiao, and its current investors include TikTok rival Kuaishou, electric vehicle firm Nio, and video streaming platform iQIYI.

The latest round brings the company’s total funding over the past year to $200 million.

At present, Nreal’s products are only available in South Korea, Japan, Spain, and the US.

The valuation used for the funding round was not disclosed.

The move comes as more multinational firms make large investments in the metaverse, a new phase of the internet, where 3D virtual spaces are created using technologies like virtual and augmented reality.

In January, it was reported that Nike is set to bring its metaverse-based Nikeland experience to its Fifth Avenue store in New York.

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